John de Bothby

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John de Bothby, or Boothby ( born c.1320-died after 1382 ) was an English-born cleric and judge who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland.


Boothby Pagnall, John's birthplace.

Boothby was born at Boothby Pagnall in Lincolnshire, second son of Thomas de Bothby and his wife Alicia; his family were Lords of the Manor of Bourne, Lincolnshire. John himself later held the nearby manor of Cammeringham.

He is first heard of as a royal clerk. He rose in the public service, held a number of royal commissions, and was granted a licence to export corn in 1360. He came to Ireland as Lord Chancellor in 1371 and held the office until 1374. O'Flanagan[1] remarks that nothing is known of his career as Chancellor other than the fact of his appointment. Elrington Ball[2] however notes that he was entitled to a military guard while in Ireland, and was apparently sufficiently knowledgeable about Irish affairs to be sent back to England to report on them in 1372.

Unlike many holders of the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who could reasonably expect to be appointed to an English bishopric in due course, Boothby never rose above vicar: he held the living of Keyingham, and later that of Hound, Hampshire. He was finally appointed vicar of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton, and died there.

Holy Sepulchre, Northampton

His date of death is uncertain. He was still living in 1382 when he was asked to inquire into whether lands held by the Priory of Walton had been unlawfully acquired. His property passed to his nephew, also called John de Bothby.[3]


  1. ^ O'Flanagan, J. Roderick Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland London 1870
  2. ^ The Judges in Ireland
  3. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926